It can be a challenge to tell if your SEO is getting the results you need due to all the information flooding the web on the topic. Researching SEO companies can be mind-boggling and tricky, but, it doesn’t have to be if you follow these simple tips.

Choosing a competent SEO company is vital to the growth and success of your company. This process begins with finding answers to some fundamental questions about prospective SEO companies.

Before you make any decisions regarding which SEO provider is right for your business ask the following questions to learn more about each company’s practices and methods:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have specific references and any case studies that you can share?
  • What is your experience working in the industry?
  • Currently, what are your SEO tactics and how do they differ from competition?
  • Have your SEO strategies improved in the last 2 years?
  • What special client successes can you impart that required unique approaches and actions to an SEO campaign?
  • What method and frequency of communication can I expect?
  • Do you specialize in a particular area of digital marketing and SEO? What advantages do those methods generate?
  • In what time frame do you typically see results? Unrealistic results are often promised by less reputable companies.
  • How strictly does your company adhere to search engine protocols? Do you stay current on the latest updates? Or does your company feel it is acceptable to push boundaries or ignore them all together

Do I Need to Know about SEO before Starting the Conversation?

Often, people hesitate to initiate the process of searching for an SEO company because they feel they do not know enough about the topic. The fear of wasting time and money on unneeded contracts and services can be common amongst business owners.

Understanding the fundamentals of SEO is important before analyzing different SEO companies. However, you do not need to be an expert

Family and friends, though trying to be helpful, may not be the most reliable sources for information on the subject. Doing a basic search for SEO on Google (or any other search engine) can be a good starting point for your research. Find a quality blog or website article that provides a basic understanding of how SEO works. You do not need to know all aspects of SEO, however, you should be armed with knowledge of basic concepts.

Have a Specific Goal in Mind

Setting specific goals can be advantageous when looking for SEO companies. Having the ability to express these goals accurately enables you to more effectively choose the SEO company that will benefit your business most.

Determine what you want your SEO campaign to accomplish for your business. Specific goals tend to be most effective as opposed to generic goals, like, “get better rankings” or “get more traffic”. Examples of specific goals include:

  • Grow sales by a specific amount in a set time frame
  • Launch a new, optimized website
  • Correcting existing content errors
  • Expanding online presence through social media or paid search
  • Modernizing an outdated website

Communicating these goals to your SEO provider clearly will facilitate a good working relationship.

Knowing your success metrics, setting attainable goals, and effective communication can make your conversations with prospective SEO companies more productive.

At What Point Do You Need an SEO Company

Google says:

“If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you’re considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. That way, you and your SEO can ensure that your site is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up.”

It is possible that you might get some benefit from your SEO company during the times Google suggested, this doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you have a long-established website. What they meant is SEO companies need to change up the strategy for your situation.

If you’re experiencing a quick and adverse decline in traffic to your website, you might want to get help with this type of problem too. Google’s regular algorithm changes are often to blame here, so you’ll need to switch up your strategies to restore your traffic back to where it was.

Obtaining An Understandable SEO Proposal

It would be convenient to have an entire legal department ready to read through contracts and proposals. Reading through proposals will take some will-power and savviness due to the importance of thoroughly understanding what the proposal is saying so nothing slips by you.

After your initial contact with the SEO company, the process of getting a proposal is pretty simple. Contact can be in the form of filling out a request or proposal form on the website or contacting the company directly. A representative of the company will examine your current website standings within the search engines correlated with website quality.

They will gather important data about your business rankings and develop an outline of the services that they will contact you with to aid in making a decision to choose their company. They will also deliver a price for services that will provide the best return on investment for your company’s dynamics.

Getting a second or even third opinion from different SEO companies help to expand your understanding of what your company will require to restore traffic to your website and ultimately success. Try not to limit yourself to a single proposal.

With a proposal in hand, can you ask yourself a few crucial questions to figure out whether or not you have a viable SEO company working for you; how do you know that the proposal covers what you really need? Are you sure you’re seeing what you think you’re seeing? Can another company produce better results?

Taking the time to look at different offers allows you to see beyond simple price matching. Look at the variety of services each company recommends. Are services similar? Are the company’s recommending completely different tactics? Once you can identify the differences and the similarities between offers, you will be more equipped to enter into prospective SEO conversations with more specific questions.

The 5 Most Common SEO Companies Misconceptions

The misconceptions flooding the information market out there are numerous about SEO and SEO companies. Poor results and serious business complications are typical consequences of making decisions based on these misconceptions.

Some of the most common misconceptions include:

Companies can “SEO a website” once and be done

There are no magic formulas or switches set in stone. SEO is a method that requires implementation, testing, modification from testing, and testing again. SEO is a tactic to be implemented and utilized over the long-term; not once.

A beautiful website is an indication of success

Someone working out of their basement can have a state-of-the-art website with attractive features. This does not mean they will be able to deliver an effective campaign.

If no results happen in the first few weeks, then something is wrong

SEO takes time. As said above, this is not a one-time process. Although SEO can take short time-frame to see results, it is not likely to see some movement in rankings or traffic within the first month. Patiently and strategically play the game for the long-haul. The foundation is being built in the first month, and then major improvements in results will be seen continuously.

Success of an SEO company depends on its size

This misconception can indicate that the SEO company has experienced some success, however, it won’t tell you how much success its clients have had. Small SEO companies can be just as effective.

 Automated SEO campaigns are possible

One-size-fits-all campaigns may satisfy foundational elements of an SEO campaign, but does not address different company needs. Strategies and tactics that are designed specifically for you are more effective than automated campaigns.

Making the Final Decision

Choosing an SEO company is not something you should do on a whim or without examining all your options. At the same time, it’s not a decision you should put off for too long. The longer you wait to start building your online presence, the more time your competition will have to establish themselves at the top of the search engine rankings.

Set your goals, gather your proposals, and compare their offerings to your needs. In the end, you’ll feel great about your final decision and be confident that it will deliver the best long-term results.

AdInfusion’s talented team of digital marketing experts can help get your website where you want it to be. You can work with us, or we can show you how. Contact us today for more info!